Toca House

Common Sense Media says

Mini-games bring funky fun to household chores.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Toca House is relatively intuitive, but kids may need help from parents at first. The For Parents section includes a brief tutorial, but the game itself does not include any instructions. Instead, kids explore the house and receive audio and visual feedback based on their actions. The mini-games vary slightly in difficulty level, but do not progress from easy to hard.  

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A link to purchase more apps appears on the title screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Toca House is a safe collection of housekeeping mini-games for preschoolers. Like all of Toca Boca's products, Toca House is designed as a digital toy rather than a game, so it encourages exploration over achievement. Kids swipe to move up and down levels of the house and assist the diverse, funky characters with chores. Kids tap, drag, and swipe to complete tasks such as ironing clothes, putting away groceries, mopping floors, and sorting mail. Kids receive only subtle feedback during tasks, but are greeted by a triumphant and colorful display when they finish each chore. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • grouping

Science

  • physics

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A quirky and imaginative tool to help kids develop positive and playful associations with chores and housekeeping. Not quite as engaging as Toca's typical toys.

Learning Approach

With its multicultural and multigenerational cast, a celebration of diversity and teamwork. Kids use fine motor and sorting skills to complete a variety of chores, but nonverbal feedback makes it a little vague for learning.

Support

Parents get suggestions to help their kids make connections between the game and the real world. Visual and audio feedback subtly guides kids during a task and loudly rewards them when they finish. No tutorial for kids, though. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • grouping

Science

  • physics

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Kids can learn about helping others by using fine motor and sorting skills to complete household chores. Toca House is inhabited by a gaggle of diverse characters who need help with a variety of tasks, from mopping to mowing to making a fire. Kids help by swiping and dragging items around the screen with minimal instruction. There are no points or scores -- instead, visual and audio feedback subtly guides kids during a task and loudly rewards them when they finish. Parents can help kids' exposure to chores in Toca House translate into real learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Liz Panarelli

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's it about?

Kids swipe up or down to select a room to play in and tap on the character there. Kids will then swipe, drag, or tap objects to complete one of 19 mini-games. Many of the games involve sorting by color and shape or matching like things, such as sorting leaves into piles. Dragging a broom or mop around the screen to clean up is another popular chore. The characters typically make disgruntled noises and facial expressions for negative feedback. When a task is completed, the character appears amid a trumpet call and a streaming rainbow backdrop.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Toca House is a quirky and imaginative tool to help kids develop positive and playful associations with chores and housekeeping. The lack of direction or narrative may leave some kids feeling disengaged or confused, and the designers provide parents with suggestions to help them make connections between the game and the real world.

The repetition of skills such as sorting in different puzzles helps develop and reinforce learning, though sweeping on every floor can get tiresome. Some floors also present the same games in quick succession, so parents should be sure to show kids how to swipe to different levels of the house. The subtle visual cues are realistic and fun -- for example, the expectant recipient of a gift tracks the gift with their eyes as you move it around the screen. Overall, Toca House is creative and interesting, but not quite as engaging as Toca's typical toys.

Families can talk about...

  • Model gameplay and, while playing, name the activities to build vocabulary and make connections between chores in Toca House and your own house.

  • Emphasize the collaborative nature of housework, with the characters dividing up tasks, taking turns, and working with you to complete their chores.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Release date:April 17, 2012
Category:Educational Games
Size:25.20 MB
Publisher:Toca Boca
Version:1.0.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

This review of Toca House was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Educator and Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byelemerond November 2, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Mother's Waiting Room Helper

6 and 3 year olds will play together for this app!
What other families should know
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